10 March 2014

South Africa: Pistorius Vomits During Graphic Court Testimony

Photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA
Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius in court (file photo).

Oscar Pistorius vomited in court Monday as he heard graphic testimony about the injuries sustained by his girlfriend when he fatally shot her.

The repeated retching and vomiting caused the judge to briefly delay the proceedings and ask the athlete's lawyer to attend to his client.

Pistorius was listening to testimony from the pathologist who performed the autopsy on the body of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp.

This included a description of bullet wounds Steenkamp suffered to her hand, hip, arm and head when Pistorius shot her through a locked bathroom door in his house the night of February 14, 2013.

Earlier, the judge granted a prosecution request not to allow live broadcasting of Monday's proceedings due to the gruesome content. Twitter messages and blogging were banned as well.

Prosecutors accuse the Olympic athlete of murdering Steenkamp after an argument. Pistorius says he thought he was shooting at an intruder.

The runner has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, recklessly discharging a firearm and illegally possessing ammunition.

If convicted of premeditated murder, he faces a life sentence.

Pistorius is known as the "Blade Runner" for his carbon-fiber prosthetic legs. In 2012, he became the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics.

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